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Texas lawmaker resigns after committee finds he had inappropriate relationship with aide

 State Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royce City, on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives
The Associated Press
State Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royce City, on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives

A Texas Republican has resigned from the Texas Legislature after an investigation found he had sex with a subordinate earlier this year after serving the 19-year-old staffer alcohol at his apartment.

Texas Rep. Bryan Slaton, a conservative firebrand from Royse City in Rockwall County, tendered his resignation Monday afternoon, just one day before the Texas House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on his expulsion.

On Saturday, the committee released a report that found Slaton, 45, who is married and considered one of the party’s most far-right members, didn’t deny inviting the aide to his Austin apartment and supplying her with alcohol despite her being underage.

"To summarize the committee report, we find that Representative Slaton has engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with a subordinate. That behavior was induced by alcohol,” state Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, the committee chairman, announced on the House floor.

Slaton’s resignation is effective immediately.

“It has been an honor to represent my friends, neighbors and the great people and communities of House District 2,” Slaton said in a brief statement sent to Gov. Greg Abbott. “They voted overwhelmingly to send me to the Capitol as their representatives in two elections and I worked daily to meet their expectations. My decision today is to ensure that their expectations will continue to be met by a new representative who will also work hard on their behalf.”

Although Slaton has resigned, Murr said he still intends to ask members to vote Tuesday to formally expel Slaton as he is still “considered to be an officer of this state until a successor is elected and takes the oath of office”, according to a statement posted on Facebook.

According to the 16-page committee report, the aide told a friend, who works for another representative, that “in the moment, obviously, I had too many drinks. Kind of hard to think in the moment when you’re intoxicated. But now that I look back at it, it was definitely an inappropriate situation.”

The report added that Slaton was also accused of previously providing alcohol to underage aides in other instances between January and March of this year.

“Slaton violated the House Drug and Alcohol Policy in the House Personnel Manual: Policies and Procedures by providing alcohol to [a person], known to him to be a minor for purposes of the alcoholic beverage laws of this state, and by offering and/providing alcohol to [a person], also known to him to be a minor for purposes of the alcoholic beverage laws of this state,” the report reads.

The report added that five of Slaton’s male staffers “obstructed the committee’s investigation by refusing to meet with the independent investigator for an interview.”

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Got a tip? Email Julián Aguilar at jaguilar@kera.org.You can follow Julián on Twitter @nachoaguilar.

Copyright 2023 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

Julián Aguilar